Standoff in Marlborough trailer park results in SWAT team arrest

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Standoff in Marlborough trailer park results in SWAT team arrest
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

MARLBOROUGH – A six-hour standoff at Val’s Mobile Home Park resulted in the arrest of Christopher Harper, who was charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, threat to commit a crime and disturbing the peace.

At 1:17 p.m. Jan. 11, police responded to a report that Harper was allegedly smashing the windows and breaking furniture on the deck of his trailer on Ethel Avenue.

According to the statement of facts filed in Marlborough District Court, when officers arrived they “could clearly observe damage to the windows at the front of the trailer.”

An officer knocked on his front door. Although Harper reportedly didn’t respond, the officer said he heard “yelling” and “banging” inside.

Additional officers were called to the scene. According to police, Harper came onto his deck and “appeared to be intoxicated and was yelling obscenities at all Officers as Officer Bonina was attempting to speak with him.”

Police said Harper had a knife in his hand, and they instructed him “several times” to drop it.

At one point, officers wrote that Harper began stabbing the walls and light of the trailer.

“Mr. Harper turned to look at me and raised the knife up over his head in an aggressive manner approximately 15 feet away from me,” an officer wrote in the court documents. “I already had my firearm out at the low ready position due to Mr. Harper being armed with a knife. I advised Mr. Harper to drop the knife.”

Harper allegedly yelled an obscenity, ran into the trailer and slammed the door before coming back out and throwing the knife in the direction of one of the officers. Police said the knife never made contact with the officers.

Police said Harper went back inside, and one of the officers tried to make contact on his phone and using the PA system in the cruiser. Officers said that during the phone conversations, Harper threatened to harm himself and officers if they were to enter the residence.

“Mr. Harper stated that he had a .50 caliber handgun trained on Officers,” police wrote.

Officers had already set up a perimeter around the trailer, and officers went to Ethel Avenue to secure the scene once the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT team arrived.

According to court documents, the SWAT team attempted to gain access to the back door. Harper allegedly had a knife above his head “in a manner in which he attempted to assault” the officer with the knife. Police said the officer had a ballistic shield, and both he and the shield were not struck with the knife.

The SWAT team deployed CS gas, and Harper exited the trailer unarmed and was taken into custody.

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